1 Feb 2014
FORD released the sixth-generation Transit in early 2014, with the Custom taking care of one-tonne market duties in base 2.93-metre (short) wheelbase and – from June 2014 – 3.3m (long) wheelbase 330L guises.
It is the first van in its segment to have achieved a maximum five-star Euro NCAP crash-test safety rating.
Built in Turkey and derived from the European base specification, Ford Australia has handpicked a number of items from a variety of overseas variants to create a unique Aussie Custom specification.
This means all 290S and 330L models arrive with class-leading safety specification including electronic stability and traction control featuring load-adaptive, anti trailer-sway and rollover-mitigation technology for added security, anti-lock brakes, six airbags (dual front, side and curtain) and emergency brake-light activation all as standard equipment.
These are on top of car-like safety and convenience items like cruise control, Bluetooth phone, a tilt and telescopic steering column, heated seats, trip computer, air-conditioning, power windows, remote central locking, SYNC voice control with emergency services contact via a paired phone.
From a workhorse point of view the Custom also includes three-seat capacity with full lap/sash seatbelt and headrest protection, a fixed integrated glazed cabin bulkhead, an under-cushion load-through function for extra-long items and a hidden storage facility, 180-degree opening rear barn doors, integrated roof racks with a lockable fold-down function to help cut wind drag, powered and heated exterior mirrors, a full-sized spare wheel, mudflaps, two 12-volt sockets, twin rear wipers, a fold-down centre armrest with a laptop or writing panel, a phone charger within a hidden dash-top compartment, bottle holder, a rubber floor, a glovebox capable of accommodating an A4 hanging file storage, two compartment lights, eight tie-down hooks and a load area protection kit.
Furthermore, a City Pack adds front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera with Trailer Hitch Assist, front fog lights and an electro chromatic exterior mirror.
Brandishing all-new styling, the Custom 290S measures in at 4972mm long, 1986mm wide (2290mm with mirrors), 1972mm high and a wheelbase of 2933mm in length. Being the Low Roof version, it offers 1406mm of internal load height.
With a claimed “class-competitive” load carrying ability, the 290S comes with a 5.95m3 load space and a load length of 2555mm, while the 330L has 6.83m3 load space and a 2922mm-load length.
Under the bonnet is a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine producing 92kW of power at 3500rpm and 350Nm of torque developed between 1450-2000rpm.
Steering is power-assisted rack and pinion, the front suspension is made up of MacPherson struts, variable-rate coil springs and an anti-roll bar, while a single-leaf spring takes the load out back.
The turning circle is 10.9m, brakes are 288mm discs all-round and tyres are 215/65 R15 on steel rims. Maximum towing capacity is rated at 2500kg.
When it was new